When I saw a post on Facebook some time back about a location-based, puzzle-solving murder mystery, I knew it was exactly the kind of thing the crew would be into – messages were sent, we were all on board and had several of us sign up to the earlybird mailing list to make sure we could bag some of the limited tickets.
The event is called Manhunt (in this case Manhunt Brighton), produced by CluedUpp. The general idea is that you play through an app on your phone which guides you around the city, ‘interrogating’ witnesses in order to solve a murder. It’s all a bit mysterious – if you’re lucky enough to bag tickets, details are only released very close to the date of your hunt. But in the meantime, there was plenty of prep to do.
We knew that there would be prizes for the ‘Best Dressed’ and ‘Best Selfie’, and none of us can resist a bit of fancy dress. So we opted to dress as Crime Scene Investigators for the day and went about buying coveralls, masks and blue gloves. It all came together pretty well:
Next, we needed a team name. There were a fair few brilliant suggestions banded about, but we finally settled on a name we thought summed up the experience….
CSI : Hove Actually
That settled, all there was to do was excitedly wait for the day to arrive.
When it finally did, we were a little worried as it rained in the morning. However, by the time we got to the centre of town, the sun was blazing. Luckily, the suits were pretty breathable, but we still had a long slog ahead of us. We booted up the app, submitted our team name, got assigned our murder case, and off we went, traipsing round Brighton in full get-up.
Not surprisingly, we got a few stares, a few giggles and a few passersby who wanted to know what on earth was going on. We also really confused some security guards in the Pavilion Gardens, but we all had a good laugh in the end. It was fun talking to a few strangers, however, there was no time to waste – a murderer was on the loose!
In order to gather our evidence, we had to locate witnesses by reaching specific locations. To unlock the clues, we had to solve puzzles, anagrams and riddles and find details in our surroundings. Luckily, I have very smart friends.
We had a lot of fun on the way…..
…..but we were determined to crack the case!
Running into other competitors along the way only added to the entertainment – competitive banter ensued! But it was great to meet like-minded folk and they all seemed good-humoured.
We didn’t expect to take as long as we did, the search took us near and very far. We started full of gusto, but as the day wore on and we got 2.5hrs in or so, we really had to power through. Up hills, down hills, round and round….it was no easy task, but, 4.5hrs in, we cracked the case!!
Tiring as it was, we really had a great time. The puzzles were just challenging enough to keep things entertaining and get the brain working, so this was a great balance. With the time we had taken, we didn’t expect to win first prize (we were right), however, we did win Best Team Picture:
I love outings like treasure hunts, that allow you to explore a city while finding clues and having a little healthy competition, so this was a perfect fit. It was a really unique interactive experience and I’m hoping to have another go in the future.
They run events all over the country, so if this sounds like something you might enjoy, keep an eye out for CluedUpp. You can check their website here to see if they have an upcoming event near you!